Pizza, Hot Pants, Hair Cuts and Now Teeth Whitening Kiosks? The Mall Has It All, but Buyer Beware!
If you live in Colorado Springs, you may have noticed the teeth whitening kiosks in the mall that offer you a brighter and whiter smile for around $99. You may have been tempted to undergo the procedure. After all, the people who run the kiosk present a convincing sales pitch, and they look professionally dressed in their “medical garments.” It is just teeth whitening, so what could possibly go wrong?
Well, looks can be deceiving and what you do not know is that the people who administer the whitening agents are not dental professionals and most likely do not have any dental training at all. The way they legally get around this is by having their customers place the actual product in their own mouths. Therefore it is considered self-administered and it keeps the owners of these kiosks from any liability should anything go wrong. So when something does go wrong, and it very well could, you have no rights as a customer.
Speaking of what could go wrong, unlike the over-the-counter American Dental Association approved teeth whitening kits that contain a safe, but not very effective ten percent carbamide peroxide solution, the kiosks at the mall use a solution that contains between 15 and 30 percent carbamide peroxide. This is the very same strength that your dentist uses. However, only your dentist can tell you if undergoing that strong of a teeth whitening procedure could permanently damage your teeth’s enamel because carbamide peroxide is extremely acidic and high levels of it need to be properly administered by a professional to prevent enamel erosion.
Administering teeth whitening agents at high levels could also create painful burning complications in people who have cracks in their teeth, cavities on the surface, or gum disease. Therefore, only a professional dentist can access your individual situation and determine if high levels of carbamide peroxide are safe for your teeth.
Unfortunately, Colorado does not currently have any legislature regulating or banning teeth whitening kiosks in malls; however, other states including Oklahoma have started regulating these mall kiosks by making sure that the salespeople are not dressed in medical garments. Alabama and Tennessee have banned the kiosks all together. Regardless, in the state of Colorado it is still a “buyer beware” and “know before you go” situation, but when you really think about it, you only get one set of permanent teeth in this lifetime. So, chancing permanent damage or painful complications hardly seems worth the risk.
Your teeth are not like a bad haircut – they won’t grow back. Unlike Hot Pants, they won’t go out of style and buying a new set will cost you more than $29.99. Therefore, if you are looking for a whiter and brighter simile, bypass the kiosks at the mall and consider making a complimentary appointment with Colorado Springs Dentist, Dr. Andrew Hall. He and his highly trained staff will help you obtain the smile you desire in a completely safe and professional environment.